New Mexico, May, 2017


White Sand National Monument, May 15, 2017

Giant, pure white sand dunes of gypsum left over from the Permian Sea that retreated millions of years ago at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. – Img 63814 Whitesandsnm

 

 

White Sand National Monument, May 15, 2017

Interesting contrast between the free flowing white sand of the dunes and the packed gypsum below. – Img 63882 Whitesandsnm

 

 

 

White Sand National Monument, May 15, 2017

This pyramid shape dune is about 35 feet high. We were hiking across the dunes on the Alkali Flats trail – Up and down the dunes following markers in a line to keep on track and not get lost in the dunes. – Img 63826 Whitesandsnm

 

 

 

Soaptree Yucca at White Sands

The gypsum dunes have water just inches below the surface that ”glue” the dunes together. This holds the dune field together and also supports plants like this Soaptree Yucca (Yucca elata). – Img 63899 Soaptreeyucca Whitesandsnm

 

 

 

Valley of Fires, NM, May 16, 2017

North of Ruidoso on the way to Santa Fe is the Valley of Fires (BLM). This is a 2-5 miles wide by 44 miles long, recent (1,500 – 5,000 years ago) lava flow from a vent. There are interesting patterns in the lava and ”arrangements” of lava and the plants that are reclaiming the land. – Img 64013 Valleyoffirenm

 

 

Blooming Cane Cholla at Valley of Fires

The bloom of Cane (or Walking Stick) Cholla (Cylindropuntia spiniosior). – Img 64071 Canecholla Valleyoffirenm

 

 

 

Valley of Fires, May 16, 2017

Img 64100 Valleyoffirenm

 

 

 

Mountain Pose at Shidoni Foundry, May 18, 2017

Karin is holding ”tree pose” with one of the sculptures at the Shidoni foundry north of Santa Fe. The small sculptures around the man are dragons (???) We were disappointed to learn that the foundry had closed for good in April, a victim of the loss of art sales since the 2008 recession. On a previous trip we had observed the lost wax technique used at the foundry. Img 64216 Shidoni Santafe

 

 

 

 

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, May 20, 2017

Karin is coming out of the short slot canyon of Tent Rocks. –  Img 64313 Tentrocks Nm

 

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, May 20, 2017

Tent Rocks is about a hour south of Santa Fe and has a really nice short hike though and above a canyon with rock formations that look like ”tents”. We first visited here in 2009, shortly after it had become a National Monument and enjoyed returning. – Img 64344 Tentrocks Nm

 

 

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, May 20, 2017

Karin walking through the canyon. – Img 64351 Tentrocks Nm

 

 

 

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, May 20, 2017

Img 64359 Tentrocks Nm

 

 

 

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, May 20, 2017

This shot is while climbing up above the canyon. – Img 64367 Tentrocks Nm

 

 

 

Karin and Randy at Tent Rocks National Monument, May 20, 2017

I found someone to take our photo with the canyon below us. – Img 64407 Tentrocks Nm

 

 

 

Karin and Tent Rocks National Monument, May 20, 2017

See Karin (left of the middle) with some shorter tent rock formations – Img 64490 Tentrocks Nm

 

 

 

Claret Cup Cactus near Taos, May 21, 2017

Found this Claret Cup cactus blooming on the West Rim trail of the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos. Also called Hedgehog Claret Cup Cactus, Mojave Mound Cactus, and Kingcup Cactus (Echinocereus triglochidiatus) – Img 64552 Claretcupcactus Westrimtrl Taos

 

 

 

Rio Grande Gorge, Taos, May 21, 2017

Karin is on the West Rim trail of the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos, NM – Img 64556 Westrimtrl Taos

 

 

 

Prayer Circle near Taos, May 21, 2017

Found this ”prayer circle” a bit off the West Rim trail. – Img 64586 Westrimtrl Taos

 

 

 

View from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, May 21, 2017

Img 64656 Riograndegorgebridge Taos

 

 

 

La Vista Verde Trail / Rio Grande, May 23, 2017

La Vista Verde trail in el Río Grande del Norte

National Monument. – Img 64886 la Vista Verde Riogrande

 

 

 

Oeste Vista Trail – Angel Fire, NM – May 22, 2017

View of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range from the Oeste Vista trail near Angel Fire, NM – Img 64719 Oestevista Angelfirenm

 

 

 

Taos Sunset, May 22, 2017

Great sunset just steps from our rented condo in Taos. – Img 64786 Taosnm

 

 

 

La Vista Verde Trail / Rio Grande, May 23, 2017

View of the Rio Grande river from the La Vista Verde trail – part of the el Río Grande del Norte National Monument, one of the newest in the nation. – Img 64823 Riogrande Lavistaverde

 

 

 

Rio Puebo  River near Taos, May 23, 2017

We saw this guy kayaking down the Rio Puebo while we were hiking down the Slide trail near Taos. He had one rapid after another down the river. – Img 64909 Slidetrl Riopuebo Taos

 

 

 

Pincushion Cactus – Taos, May 23, 2017

Known variously as foxtail cactus, pincushion cactus, or spiny star (escobaria) is  a small, tubercular cacti with this bright flower. – Img 64925 Slidetrl Pincushioncactus Taos

 

 

 

Prickly Pear Cactus, May 23, 2017

The plains prickly pear (opuntia polyacantha) is the single most widespread cactus in the US. – Img 64943 Picklypearcactus Slidetrl Taos

Categories: Hikes

1 comment

  1. Neat picture, Randy. This is such a stark and barren area but it has it’s own brand of beauty. (“White Sands National Monument. May 15, 2017” photo)

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